Does its job well for those needing tougher than the average handset
The ruggedised market is one of the few areas that continue to grow in mobile. Given the demands of its core demographic, you can’t really blame manufacturers that decide to steer clear. Last year, however, a new ruggedised manufacturer hit the market. Under the well-known Energizer brand, Avenir provided a fresh option for those of us who could use a tougher device than the average handset. Naturally, there is a rubberised lining on every corner and edge, avoiding cracks, chips or other damage if you drop the handset. Yet despite this, the feel of the phone in the hand is still relatively slim. The device’s features enable it to be shockproof and IP68 water-resistant, with the Energizer Hardcase H550S able to last half an hour submerged under 1.2 metres of water and still function. The device runs on Android 7.0 operating system and an eight-core CPU, incorporating 3GB of RAM and powered by a 4,000mAh battery. On the front is a 5.5-inch full-HD display, while the rear of the device houses a dual camera set up with 16MP and 8MP cameras and a fingerprint reader
OS: Android 7.0 (Nougat)
Processor: MediaTek MT6750
Screen: 5.5 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
Internal storage: 32GB
External memory: MicroSD slot
Water resistance: IPX8
Rear camera: Dual 16 MP and 8MP
Front camera: 8MP
Video: 1080p @ 30fps
Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, 4G, NFC, GPS, USB-C
Cellular Speed: 50Mbps download
Dimensions: 158.8 x 80.7 x 11.1 mm
What the Manufacturer says
Hardcase H550S – designed to last. The HARDCASE H550S smartphone features a curved 2.5DUltra HD 5.5 Corning Gorilla Glass tempered glass screen, in addition to its reinforced structure designed to be resistant to shocks as well as extreme outdoor conditions. The Hardcase H550S has IP68 certification and has been tested to ensure it withstands immersions of 30 minutes at depths of up to 1.5m (4.9ft) and is hermetic to dust. It also features a high-performance 4,000mAh battery that gives you 16 days of standby power and 10 hours of full talk time with Intelligent Power Saving technology that optimises each milliamp of the battery. With the 16-megapixel main camera and the eight-megapixel front camera, by Sony, on the HARDCASE H550S, you can capture the magical moments in your life with the best possible resolution. HARDCASE H550S meets Google’s performance requirements. With over two million apps available for download from Google Play, you can customize the HARDCASEH550S to your heart’s content.
The rugged sector seems at present to be dominated by the CAT range. Whether you’re after a simple but reliable feature phone, a smartphone that won’t break under testing conditions or a laser-shooting, thermal imaging monster, you’d do well to find fault. That said, it doesn’t preclude others from building high-quality devices fit for the construction industry or emergency services, or as a first phone for kids.
With the Hardcase H550S, Avenir has created a simple but effective smartphone with upsides that outweigh the downsides. The display is bright and although the Android 7.0 operating system is not the most recent, it is fine to use and the fit in the hand is comparable to that of past flagships. One very useful feature that impressed is the dongle, which allows you to charge other devices via a USB. Downsides include the inability to play demanding games on the device without lag or slow performance, and we could unfortunately not run the GFX benchmark tests. However, with the target audience in mind, this is a device that does the job very well and users could do a lot worse than picking this device for when they are on the job.
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